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Lightning's Callahan out of hospital after surgery

by Corey Long / NHL.com

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan was released from the hospital Tuesday but will not play in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Montreal Canadiens (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Callahan had an emergency appendectomy Monday and is out indefinitely. He did not practice Monday, was admitted to Tampa General Hospital that night, and was diagnosed with acute appendicitis.

"I found out when it happened [Monday], a little after dinner I think," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Tuesday. "He had discomfort. We had to check him in and just like that we had to get him under the knife. He's good; we got to it before anything really bad could have happened."

Cooper said he wasn't sure when Callahan would return to the lineup but expected it would be a matter of days rather than weeks.

"Is he extremely doubtful for tonight? Sure he is," Cooper said. "But I've done a little researching now on the whole subject and I've read it's taken people weeks and I've read it's taken people a day to get back. I would say he falls somewhere in those parameters. And knowing how tough Callahan is, I'll put him closer to the days than the weeks."

Forward Jonathan Marchessault, who had been practicing with the Lightning since the Syracuse Crunch were eliminated from the American Hockey League playoffs, likely will replace Callahan in the lineup. He played in two NHL games this season and scored his first NHL goal April 11.

"If I get a chance to get in, I want to show what I can do," Marchessault said. "I think the last game of the season I had a good game here. So hopefully I can go on the same pattern and just be intense and be ready to play a playoff game here."

Callahan has three assists and a Lightning-best plus-7 rating in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games. More than the stats, though, is the experience and leadership the 30-year-old brings.

"He's a guy that, the hole he leaves … he's a leader on our team," Cooper said of Callahan. "He's extremely important. He plays with passion, grit. He plays with all those things that help you win. But he plays with such character and grace. You win with guys like Ryan Callahan. That's why he's another one that's played so many playoff games in his career because you win with guys like that. We saw that the day he came here in the trade last year, and he's done nothing but elevate the play of our team. Pull the stats on our record when Ryan Callahan scores a goal; it's pretty good. So if he's not able to go tonight, naturally it's a blow to our team. But one guy doesn't make a team. I don't think you can say that about any team in this league. That's where you need your depth and you need guys to step up. Ryan Callahan plays 15 to 20 minutes a night, somebody's going to have to take those minutes and run with them."

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said he was disappointed Callahan won't be in the lineup for Game 6 but said it doesn't change what the Lightning need to do Tuesday.

"We need to play with some desperation," Stamkos said. "We are getting close to that time where we need that. We have an opportunity to come home in front of our fans that deserve a much better game than we played last time in this building. But at the same time we have to embrace this. This is fun. It's a challenge, and we have to play the way that has made us successful. We can't just hope we're going to go out there and win. Series is 3-2 now, it is a series, and we want to close it out tonight."

Here are the projected lineups:

CANADIENS

Max Pacioretty - Tomas Plekanec - Brendan Gallagher

Alex Galchenyuk - David Desharnais - Dale Weise

Brandon Prust - Lars Eller - PA Parenteau

Jacob De La Rose - Torrey Mitchell - Devante Smith-Pelly

Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban

Alexei Emelin - Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu - Tom Gilbert

Carey Price

Dustin Tokarski

Scratched: Manny Malhotra, Brian Flynn, Mike Weaver, Sergei Gonchar, Greg Pateryn, Mike Condon

Injured: None

LIGHTNING

Alex Killorn - Valtteri Filppula - Steven Stamkos

Nikita Kucherov - Tyler Johnson - Ondrej Palat

Cedric Paquette - Brian Boyle - J.T. Brown

Brenden Morrow - Vladislav Namestnikov - Jonathan Marchessault

Anton Stralman - Victor Hedman

Matthew Carle - Braydon Coburn

Andrej Sustr - Jason Garrison

Ben Bishop

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Scratched: Nikita Nesterov, Jonathan Drouin, Mark Barberio

Injured: Ryan Callahan (appendectomy)

Status report: With Callahan out, Filppula is expected to move to center on the first line. … Marchessault said he will participate in the warmup and be a game-time decision. … Cooper said there is the possibility of going with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, which likely would put Nesterov in the lineup rather than Marchessault.

Who's hot: Stamkos scored his second goal of the playoffs Sunday. … Killorn has one goal and three assists in the past four games.

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